Opel is a German automobile manufacturer, a subsidiary of French automaker Groupe PSA since August 2017. From 1929 until 2017, Opel was owned by American automaker General Motors. Opel vehicles are sold in the United Kingdom under the Vauxhall brand and in Australasia under the Holden brand baring in mind that from the 2019 model year that Opel/[[Vauxhall}} models will be using Groupe PSA technology and partsharing. Holden was not part of the deal between GM and Groupe PSA so Vauxhallwill have to make its own way to Australasia.
The first cars were produced in 1899 after Opel's wife Sophie and their two eldest sons entered into a partnership with Friedrich Lutzmann, a locksmith at the court in Dessau in Saxony-Anhalt, who had been working on automobile designs for some time. These cars were not very successful and the partnership was dissolved after two years, following which Opel signed a licensing agreement in 1901 with the French Automobiles Darracq France to manufacture vehicles under the brand name Opel Darracq. These cars consisted of Opel bodies mounted on Darracq chassis, powered by two-cylinder engines.
Cars and truck production lines were lost by Opel. As reparations for war destruction, under plans of the Allied Forces, the Soviet Union asked the Allied military government for the tools, jigs, dies, fixtures, and drawings for the Kadett. This, they said, they would use to begin auto production at an Opel subsidiary in Russian-occupied Leipzig. The equipment was duly delivered to the Soviets in June 1946, and that was the last Opel was to see of it – but not of the Kadett.
With these guidelines in mind, the Opel question was put again on 3 May to the GM financial policy committee, which then withdrew its objections to a return to Russelsheim. Many details still had to be worked out, both within GM and in the US-occupied zone of Germany, before this could actually occur. At last, the official word was released on 1 November 1948; GM resumed management control of Adam Opel AG. Edward W. Zdunek, formerly regional manager for Europe of General Motors Overseas Operations Division, was named managing director.
Even the idea and concept behind the Ampera was rooted in Opel with Frank Weber, the former Global Vehicle Line Executive and Global Chief Engineer electric vehicle development, being originally an Opel employee who was moved to the United States to advance the development of this concept in GM's home country instead of the German outpost that is Opel. In 2009, Weber returned during the reorganisation of the Opel leadership to Adam Opel GmbH as Vice-President Planning and Commercial Vehicle Operations for the company. In 2011, Frank Weber left Opel for BMW.